Thursday, June 11, 2015

RMS's proposed new Pedestrian Bridge over Beecroft Road

The BCCT has analysed RMS's answers about our concerns regarding the proposed pedestrian bridge south of the Beecroft Community Centre.

In view of the huge population shift happening at the north end of the shopping village, the Trust asked, "Is a bridge north of the Cheltenham Rd intersection a better option than one far down at the southern end of the village?"

In response, RMS say that a pedestrian bridge would "not be feasible at the intersection of Beecroft Road and Hannah Street" due to the possible need to acquire private property. The Trust believes that, if the Cheltenham Road or Hannah Street crossings are better locations from the road safety viewpoint, then the budget should be increased as required, rather than building the bridge where it won't help the majority of the population just because it's cheaper there.

The RMS response fails to address the question of advertising on the bridge. It appears that the bridge is being designed to accept the additional weight required for large billboards. Why would this extra design and construction cost be incurred, if for heritage reasons advertising will never be permitted on the bridge?

The consent authority for the bridge is RMS, not council. Once the bridge is built the advertising section in Finance will be under pressure to obtain the easy long term revenue stream from advertising in this prime location. Do we really want a massive illuminated billboard across Beecroft Road? Is this, even, the main motivation for the bridge? The Trust believes we need to get an unambiguous statement from the Minister that advertising will never be allowed on this bridge EVER. So far that assurance has not been given. The bridge design should be kept lightweight both to reduce costs andso that it can never be adapted to carry heavy advertising.

Residents of Beecroft and Cheltenham need to make their views known now, before the bridge is built in the wrong location and with built in capability to carry large advertising boards!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The New Module Development

Beware of following the owner's sign about turning left off Beecroft Road down the lane leading to the car park.  RMS has always banned such left turns because of the danger of a shunt as fast traveling cars follow you around the bend in Beecroft Road.  We feel that RMS should take action on this marketing ploy by the new owners.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The lovely White Mahogany tree is gone. Who is to blame?

Suddenly there is a flurry of media attention about the tragic loss of this lovely white mahogany tree behind 83 Beecroft Rd.  But the time for all that activity was at the JRPP on 18 September last year, where I and a very few others pointed out to the JRPP members how lovely the tree was and how it should be protected. 
The developers argued that the tree couldn't be seen from the road, but we pointed out to the JRPP that when the module is developed there will be a public open space opening out to where that tree stood.  Shoppers and residents in the Module public open space would have that tree standing proudly before them, to inspire generations to come about the beauty of, and the importance of preserving, such wonderful natural resources.
Inevitably however the developers outnumbered the objectors, and the JRPP duly found in favour of the developers and eight months later the tree is gone!  Why did the media start protesting a few days before the tree was chopped down?
Instead of wringing your hands in belated anguish, check the Tuesday, September 16, 2014 post on this blog and ask yourself why you didn't go to the JRPP to plead for this magnificent tree.  Instead of bemoaning the fallen tree stumps, ask why the campaign to save the tree didn't start for six months after the original JRPP ruling.
Similarly the Rural Fire Service's infamous 10/50 rule continues to allow almost any tree that blocks an owner's view or future development to be removed with no need even to pretend that it was a fire risk.  Despite endless muttering and media articles nothing is even in prospect to remedy this self imposed evil.  If asked, most politicians agree that places with no significant fire risk should be exempted, and even fire specialists agree that solitary trees are a greater fire risk than solid masses of trees acting as wind breaks.  But a year after 10/50 was introduced nothing has changed.  Check the BCCT post on this topic dated 13 August 2014 optimistically assuming something would be done to control the madness.  Ten months later all the best trees have gone.
Let's see if we can do better with the proposed concreting of the Malton Road wild life corridor.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Module Shopping Mall

The new owners are painting the east wall of the module.  We suspect this is in support of the promotion of sales for the development, using a display room expected to be in the corner where Ray White Beecroft were until they moved across the pathway.  This would suggest there will be a delay in commencement of demolition until some number of residential sales have been achieved, which might delay the loss of the 90 car park spaces behind the module.  Indeed, to promote the sales they will need pedestrial traffic through the Module mall.


There is a Development Application before Council for the Byles Creek bushland off Malton Rd, between Beecroft and Pennant Hills.  More applications are pending and between them, the majority of the bushland in lower Byles Creek will be destroyed.  This is land that the local community has been fighting to protect since the 1960s!
Thanks to tremendous Community pressure, Council has now approached the NSW State Govt to acquire threatened portions of Byles Creek Valley and protect it in perpetuity.  Our Beecroft and Cheltenham Civic Trust and the Byles Creek Valley Union have also forwarded experts’ reports supporting their written submission to acquire and rezone this land as public space.
We now need you, your neighbours and your friends to bombard the State Govt with emails, calling on them to protect this unique old growth forest, home to a critically endangered population of Gang-gang Cockatoos, threatened Powerful Owls plus many other threatened species who call this valley home.
We have a newly elected Government.  Let them know you also demand this land be acquired and protected for now and forever.  But time is short!  Council has only given us a small window in which to act.
The Hon Mark Speakman, Minister for the Environment Heritage & Assistant Minister for Planning:
Copy to Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning
Please also sign our online petition. Follow the links to Byles Creek Valley at